The City of Oxnard is excited to offer its inaugural Oxnard Insect Festival on Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Plaza Park.
This unique event will allow the community to experience the world of insects in ways they may never have before, with opportunities to see, touch, buy and even taste an assortment of creepy crawlers.
On hand will be educational booths featuring beneficial insects used in agricultural fields around the County: the itsy spider mite, which is so small a microscope is needed to see it; and the popular monarch butterflies. The Ventura County Agriculture Museum will bring beekeeper equipment and provide information about the role bees play in food production here and around the world.
Members of the CSUCI Biology Department will showcase two insect-related projects featuring bees and meal worms. If you have got a question about those pesky critters in your garden, the Ventura County Master Gardeners will there to supply answers.
For those who want to take a bug or two home, there will be booths from which to buy tarantulas, scorpions and centipedes as well as live caterpillar larvae. Others will have framed, pinned insects for sale or exotic plants that eat insects. Learning tools such as magnifying glasses and bug boxes will also be available.
And then there are the edible bug vendors. Garlic fried grasshoppers anyone? Or maybe chocolate-covered bugs, a cricket taco or a snow cone with meal worms? There will be plenty of choices for adventurous eaters as well as those who are not so daring.
In addition to about twenty insect-themed booths, a number of activities play off the bug theme, with a Beatles cover band – British Beat – playing from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on the large stage. And a Volkswagen car club will be on hand with a display of VW Bugs.
Kids will want to dress as their favorite insect or critter to enter the costume contest sponsored by Casillas Martial Arts Academy. There are two categories: ages 0-5 and youths age 6-14. Arrive at the small stage by 1:45 p.m. as judging begins at 2 p.m. A nearby kids’ zone will feature bug-oriented arts and crafts.
Other entertainment includes a U.S. Fish and Wildlife presentation on monarch butterflies at noon and ZooMed talking about the care of pets, including insects, to keep them healthy at 1 p.m. For a full listing of entertainment on the festival’s two stages, please visit the Oxnard Insect Festival’s Facebook.